What We Know About Heaven

Title: What We Know About Heaven

Bible Book: John 14 : 1-6

Author: J. Robert White

Subject: Heaven



In our text we read the words of Jesus himself as he spoke words of comfort to the disciples when they were seriously troubled about death. Jesus himself was facing death upon the cross. Some years later the Apostle John wrote: "I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her new husband" (Rev. 21:2).

Then further on the same chapter John gave a lengthy description of heaven as he saw it. Revelation 21:10-21 (Read).

The description of heaven found in this passage is the most detailed of any found in the entire Word of God. As we read it we feel that there is certainly something more significant than the description itself. I feel it is fair to say that John was trying to convey an impression. Of course, none of us have ever been to heaven so we cannot say for a certainty what heaven is like in physical nature. Jesus is the only one who can give us testimony as to what heaven is like. It is quite clear that John was not trying to give a literal description of heaven. Rather, he was trying to let the world know that God had made adequate preparation for his own. We would be doing the writer an injustice if we limited him to the physical elements and dimensions he knew about and used to describe heaven. For in another place in the scriptures it states that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9). John was trying to express in the very highest sense possible the glory of heaven.

The only information we have about heaven is the Word of God. Some who doubt the reality of heaven, as well as those who are worried about what it is going to be like, must realize that there is no other description of heaven than that which is found in the Bible itself. The Bible is our only source of information about the eternal resting place of those who have become the Sons of God through the acceptance of Jesus Christ.

Each one of us has at one time or another wondered what heaven will be like. We have formed our own personal visions in our minds. When we view the picture of heaven as painted by John, we see a heaven of beauty and magnificence. We have the same feeling John had as we see a beautiful city some place in the distance in the far-off sky. But this isn't all that we know about heaven. There are some who are afraid that God will not have everything just right in heaven. A very fine Christian lady once said, "I don't know whether or not I could be happy in heaven if someone that I love here on earth were not there." The implication was that somehow there would be a flaw on the part of God in making heaven perfect. Many of us have asked the very same question as we wonder: How can heaven be perfect if people cannot be to us in heaven what they are to us here on earth? In other words, we want a perfect human place. But God hasn't prepared a place for physical bodies or for imperfect people. He has prepared a place for physical bodies or for souls that have been redeemed and made perfect through Jesus Christ. Let us consider a number of things that the Bible tells us about heaven.

I. Heaven Is A Place

How can it be more definite than that? Jesus said: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." It is revealed therefore, that heaven very definitely exists. It is a place and is the result of an act of the Son of God.

II. Heaven Is A Reality

It is not a speculation. Jesus said that heaven is an adequate place. It is big enough and it is good enough. Jesus used the word "mansions." We use the word mansion when we refer to a place of luxury. I am sure that Jesus wanted us to use it that way. He was trying to leave an impression on his disciples that God had made adequate preparations for those who believe in his Son. Anything done at the will and hand of God is enough. At any rate, our ideas of luxury are far too sensual and temporal to compare with the sufficiency of heaven.

III. Heaven Is A Place Of Rest

"There remaineth therefore a place of rest to the people of God...Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Heb. 4:9-11). For those who labor, for those who are anxious, and for those who are tired of working out the problems of life, heaven is a place of rest. If there is anything that heaven ought to mean to people today, and that we should think about and talk about, it is that heaven is a place of rest.

Wouldn't you like to rest from the problems of life? All of us would gladly welcome a relief from all the complicated problems that we must work out here upon this earth. People have always been distraught and frustrated by the pains, heartaches, and anxieties of life. Jesus looked out upon the multitudes many times during his ministry and the Bible tells us that He had compassion on them.

So it is today. God looks at the multitudes of our world and He has compassion on them. He has compassion on you and me. He therefore has presented to us a place of serene rest and relief. This rest brings relief from the continuous battle with Satan and the forces of evil.

IV. Heaven Is A Safe Place

In the Gospel of Matthew we have a record of the teaching of Jesus, which says: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (6:19-20). Many people are looking in these days for good investments. Jesus said that heaven was a safe place for investment. Again Jesus said, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out" (Rev. 3:12). No one will ever leave heaven or want to leave because heaven will be a safe and pleasant place. Nothing is superior in heaven.

V. Heaven Will Be Better Than Earth

According to the Word of God, heaven will be better than earth. This is the promise of God. (Read Hebrews 11:13-16) How comforting it is to know that heaven is going to be a better place than earth could ever be, And even though there are many beautiful things about this earth, it is far short of heaven's glory. I love my wife, I love my friends, I love the sunlight and all the beauties of nature. I love a lot of things about this life. In many ways, it is a very pleasant and happy existence. But we know from the word of God that heaven will be better than anything we can ever know upon this earth. 

VI. Heaven Is A Place Where Sorrow Cannot Enter

Rev. 21:4 states: "God shall wipe away all of the tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

If you could walk down the corridors of the hospitals and see the men, women, and little children who are suffering pain, pain for which physicians have no cure-it would mean something to you to know that God has prepared a place where there is no pain. Until you have suffered over the loss of one you held dear to your heart and gone through the nightmare of realizing that you are separated from that loved one in this life, you will not fully appreciate the fact that God says there will be no death in heaven, no more weeping, no more sorrow, and no more pain.

VII. Heaven Will Be The Home Of Those Who Believe

The other night, I tried an experiment and asked the question, "Are you going to heaven when you die?" You should have heard the various answers I received to that question as I went around the room. Some said yes, others, I'm not sure, or I don't know. Keep in mind that all of these young people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. How many times we have heard Christians answer that very question by saying, "Well, I sure hope so." In the 12th chapter of Hebrews it says, "To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven." Their names have been recorded. How wonderful it is to know that as you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, God is recording your name. Has God recorded your name?

If I had never accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I don't believe I would be able to sleep tonight for there would be a cloud of fear hanging over me. If I were in doubt as to whether God had provided salvation for me through His Son Jesus Christ, you would see before you this morning a fearful person. I would have the kind of fear that would make my soul restless and turn in anxiety and distress.

This we know about heaven: it is the home of those who believe in Jesus Christ. "Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Think about how wonderful it will be to stand before Jesus Christ and have Him reach out His hand and say, "Yes, I know you because you confessed me before the world. I know who you are, for I died for your sins too."

Face to face with Christ my Savior,

Face to face-what will it be,

When with rapture I behold Him,

Jesus Christ who died for me.

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